Do you have this issue?
There are times I’m so utterly overwhelmed, unhinged, and emotionally powered down that I just want to quit.
I want to quit this client, this project, or even this profession.
I want to wave the white flag, call a truce, and camp out in the bunkers with contraband ice cream and Cheez-Its (and wine).
There are many reasons I might respond this way some including things like actual clinical depression and a stupid amount of student debt.
More often than not though, it’s these 4 issues that get me freakin’.
1. Poor Client Communication
Know the euphoric feeling of wooing a client into an LTR only to then find they…
- Want only your unpaid insights, and not your paid work
- Won’t accept or agree to any contracts or proposals – let alone provide feedback
- Change their budget tune only after you get started
- Can’t prioritize their needs and leave you scrambling at the last minute to meet unecessarily stressful deadlines
- Expect an insane amount of revisions for overly small details?
Fortunately, I know that most of these poor communication issues come from myself – from a lack of confidence in my own worth, compromising my values for short-term gain, and not knowing the right steps in the process of going from lead to paying client.
2. Switching from Admin to Creative Mode
You know the feeling. You’re completely immersed in a project for your own sites and blogs (I have 3 I fall in obsession with all the time), but a deadline means you have to stop and do an about-face immediately. You go from fun, write-about-whatever-I-like to write-about-whatever-this-guy’s-paying-you-for, and it can be a bummer if you aren’t super picky about the fun level in your assignments.
Careful time management can help with this stuff, but you’ll still have the business-to-creative transition to make.
On the other hand, that also means you have the built-in flexibility to opt for creative or administrative tasks depending on your schedule and mood.
3. There are no short-term solutions.
Super broke? Like, got the not even ramen is in your budget blues?
Unless you’re in the process of acquiring a new client and you work with retainers or you’re willing to hustle through an insane amount of low-paying but easy-to-find work, you’ll be hounding the Craigslist ETC jobs page or asking Grandma for an advance on that $10 she sends for your birthday.
This part ticks my enthusiasm meter to a full, red E, and takes a lot of meditation, patience, and self-love to refill.
Remember that game The Sims? Know how it would take forever for your characters to do basic things when they were hungry or had to go to the bathroom?
Being broke is like that. It slows everything down, and makes me throw punctuation marks in the air while having a tantrum and maybe peeing my pants (not so much that last part).
4. I feel unqualified, inexperienced, and ineffective.
Lots of sad words to describe one’s self, I know, but it’s the truth. Despite:
- having a degree in English,
- receiving financial compensation for my written work (sort of the definition of freelance writing?), and
- being notably more successful at writing and communication than the average bear…
I feel like a fake.
I didn’t go to Freelance Writing School, and I learned most of this blogging know-how through hard work and experience (great teachers, but kind of bitches).
Still, I feel like I promise more than I can give and often catch myself sabotaging my own success by procrastinating, wallowing, and avoiding my responsibilities and life.
Despite all this, I continue to write professionally.
Why do I keep going?
Because I’m constantly pulled back, even when I’m barely keeping it together.
There’s some weird little part of me that exists solely to help others.
From the clients and their ingenious businesses to the financial flexibility this lifestyle can afford, I’m glued. You tell me your problem, and I’ll unstick myself immediately to create your solution.
Why? Because it feels good.
- I’ll hear, “Hey Rachael, what do you think about setting up a blog series on making cheese at home?” Freak yes!
- “Hey Girl, What’s the best way to backlink without selling my soul?”
- Or, “Dearest Rachael, can you help me share my life’s dream (aka this product or service or website)?”
It gets me every time. Each client, each project is a new challenge, and allows me to share my hard-won knowledge/paddle with others up a creek.
Every part of my being feels stimulated, and I get paid to do it! That blows my mind.
Plus, most of my issues exist because of my fears and insecurities. By pushing through the discomfort, I’ll always find that kernel of awesomeness that keeps me fulfilled.
So no matter how bogged down I feel, I always stick around because I need to help you.
What about you?
What gives you pause?
What fans your fires?